Never have a bad week again … How to audit your week, celebrate daily progress, and other practical advice for a happier life.
THE ROOT OF FAILURE
Mediocrity is a virus, and you’ve most likely been infected.
Are you living to your full potential? Even half? Doubt it.
Maybe because of your own insecurities? Maybe because keeping score on yourself requires that you take accountability when your score is low?
… or maybe social “norms” has hypnotized you into thinking that blending in is “ok”?
Well, it’s not. In fact it’s the root of failure.
I don’t know your situation or circumstance, but regardless it’s not the reason you’re living a mediocre life, it’s just an excuse.
Perhaps the problem is your measuring yourself next to giants, instead of measuring yourself against your own potential, your own dreams, and most importantly your “current” status.
I’m not writing a self-help or motivational piece here, I’m just putting certain things in perspective … and giving you some practical advice on how to never have a “bad week” again.
HAVE YOU SAID THIS BEFORE?
I just had a brief text message exchange with a friend which motivated me to write this.
I was catching up after not touching base in a few days, and I asked – “how was your week?”
The reply – “uneventful”.
There is so much to unpack in that comment, but for me the issue starts with perspective. I highly doubt the week was uneventful … and in fact, from conversations a few days prior I know it wasn’t.
So this person is downplaying, and/or over-looking, what they achieved or overcame.
This happens when someone lacks context – most people are afraid of failing so they only do what is, in their current point of view, “good enough”.
Here’s the point, you don’t need to change the world in order for you to grow and have a successful day or week.
You just need a little progress, a little win, a few steps forward that you otherwise might not have taken.
Did you go to the gym this week … at all?
Did you spend a little more time with your spouse, your kids, your friends?
Did you use less profanity, eat less junk food, or drink less alcohol?
Maybe you didn’t do any of those things, but at least made the conscious decision to try.
Your sense of failure in some of these areas most likely exists because your perspective is out-of-context.
You’re judging yourself to other people, when you only need to compare yourself to who you were the day before, or just a few minutes ago. You simply just need a little bit of progress.
THE FIRST STEP TO A GREAT WEEK
The next important piece is to audit yourself, but make sure you do it with gratitude and pride (self-love).
My friend who claims they had an “uneventful” week simply didn’t take the time to reflect on all the good they achieved and the positive things that they experienced.
I’m not talking about staring at the mirror like Stuart Smalley and telling yourself “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
… but maybe you should to start there, with some positive self-affirmation.
You need to look back on your week with a sense of gratitude for the good things that occurred, and pride in yourself for anything you did to help those things come to fruition … which sometimes is as simple as getting to work on time.
Actually showing up to work on time is a perfect example. You have probably set the standard that only getting to work early is worthy of applause. I disagree, especially if you are notoriously late (which is true for me).
Don’t try to make giant leaps, when you haven’t even started to crawl, and once you do start to crawl take pride in that progress instead of looking down on it because you’re comparing yourself to others who are further along in the journey.
HOW TO STAY POSITIVE
As I said in the beginning mediocrity is a virus, but really it’s merely a symptom.
If you really look into the message I’m giving, there is no room for mediocre or “uneventful” because if you are regularly auditing yourself then you’ll be able to acknowledge the things you achieved.
However, by doing so you’ll have raised the bar on you (not in comparison to anyone else) and you’ll be ready to progress a little bit further next week.
All of this requires ACCOUNTABILITY, which I really think is the source of the problem.
Because if perhaps you didn’t make even the slightest effort and you did every single thing all week long at the bare minimum (unlikely), when you reflect back on yourself for that week and it truly was “uneventful” then you are forced to be accountable for those results.
The majority doesn’t like to do this, it’s uncomfortable. Instead of celebrating the small wins at the risk of shining light on areas that could be improved most people never take assessment at all and shrug off the week as “uneventful”.
Where it becomes poisonous is when you project that fear and apathy onto other people, or perhaps even worse is when you let the fear of others projecting that onto you keep you from being excited and vocal about your own successes.
When I asked my friend how their week was, in a different society that fully nurtured each other’s growth, they would have probably been eager to say:
“It was great, I had a really productive week, I went to the gym twice even though I haven’t been in months, and my relationship with my colleagues at work is getting better”.
What a difference that would make on a person’s attitude going forward into the next day and the next week, and what a positive impact it would have for creating some positive momentum.
The world today doesn’t want to hear how great you are because then that means they need to audit themselves.
“Hmmm … did I have a good week?
Once the auditing process starts it can open the Pandora’s Box of ACCOUNTABILITY and anyone consumed by fear (because they lack perspective) doesn’t want to be pushed face first into a confrontation with their own insecurities or fears.
It’s much easier, in the social norm of mediocrity, to make people feel bad about sharing their wins, regardless of how big or how small.
They will feed you this poison in such subtle ways that you won’t even realize it until you subconsciously begin to settle with mediocre and “uneventful” as somehow acceptable.
Don’t let the head games they are playing with themselves sabotage what you could be doing to live to your full potential.
REV UP YOUR ENGINE
Your “full potential” doesn’t happen because you had one good day and a race car doesn’t reach its top speed all at once.
Get off the starting line and don’t worry about only being in first gear when you do.
Eventually you’ll learn how to shift into another gear, especially once you get the hang of driving.
However, just because you’ve been driving in first gear for a little bit doesn’t take away from the fact that previously you were still just sitting at the starting line, worried about people judging you for even wanting to rev up your engines and start a race.
Yet, also don’t forget in the beginning that the race is really only with yourself so why would you care what anyone else has to say about it, you’re not racing them.
…but that’s the scary thing, in their mind you are racing them, and they don’t want to take ACOUNTABILITY for why they’re not fine tuning their engine for a race of their own.
BE YOUR OWN SPARK
Writing this is allowing me to audit myself. In fact, seeing that text “uneventful” made me realize how many big things I’ve achieved over the past week, and especially the last few years, that I never shared with anyone.
I didn’t want to sound like I was bragging or be perceived as arrogant.
That’s poisonous thinking!!
It roots itself in my subconscious and will give subliminal cues to settle or quit when I should be digging down deep to find that extra strength or motivation.
Instead of pulling back, I should be going the extra mile because of all the praise I will receive when I achieve my goal.
However, remember that the praise only needs to come from within, and to not let the fears and insecurities of others silence that voice, stifle your ambition, or put out your fire … and never forget that for a fire to start it only needs a spark.
Be your own spark and start a fire that in time will burn brighter than anything you have thought possible.
Now take the first step forward. Audit yourself and be ok with the areas that need improvement. It’s not a measure of who you are, it’s simply a starting point.
Don’t forget to be grateful for your progress as you shift from where you are now into your next gear.
Take accountability, inoculate mediocrity, and NEVER HAVE A BAD WEEK AGAIN.